How Long Does Dried Fruit Last?

How long does dried fruit last? Most dried fruits will last for a year beyond a "best by" date and can be frozen indefinitely, but there are signs to be aware of when questioning if your dried fruit has gone bad. The shelf life of dried fruit depends on a variety of factors, such as the best by date, the drying method and how the dried fruit was stored.

Fruits with the water removed become dried fruits, lasting much longer than if they were fresh. Since most of the water is removed from the fruit the flavor is intensified, the storage is simplified and the shelf life is greatly lengthened. The drying process can be done naturally by the sun or in a dehydrator (or less often in a slow oven). Because of its vibrant taste and proven health benefits, like no fat and high fiber, dried fruit is one of the easiest and most popular ways to eat fruit. It is especially popular with hikers.

So, how long does dried fruit last? When properly stored, the shelf life of dried fruits such as raisins (dried grapes), craisins (dried cranberries), dried apricots (actually apricots!) and many other dried fruits past their best by date is approximately ...

Dried Fruit Expiration Date

(Unopened) Pantry Fridge Freezer
Past Printed Date Past Printed Date Past Printed Date
Raisins last for 6-12 Months 1-2 Years Indefinite
Dried Cranberries last for 6-12 Months 1-2 Years Indefinite
Craisins last for 6-12 Months 1-2 Years Indefinite
Dried Cherries last for 6-12 Months 1-2 Years Indefinite
Dried Apricots last for 6-12 Months 1-2 Years Indefinite
Dried Mangoes last for 6-12 Months 1-2 Years Indefinite
Dates last for 3-12 Months 1-2 Years Indefinite
Dried Blueberries last for 6-12 Months 1-2 Years Indefinite
Dried Plums last for 6-12 Months 1-2 Years Indefinite
Banana Chips last for 1-2 Months -- --
Figs last for 3-12 Months 1-2 Years Indefinite
Chocolate Cherries last for 2-3 Weeks 6 Months 1 Year
(Opened) Pantry Fridge Freezer
Open Dried Fruit lasts for 3-6 Months 6-12 Months 1* Years

*Freezing is an indefinite form of storage and dried fruit, if properly sealed, can last for many years. Of course, dried fruit lasts for a shorter period of time if it is not stored properly. But remember that dried fruit, like some other fruits, usually has a best by date and not a use by date or expiration date. Because of this distinction, you may safely consume dried fruit even after the best before date has lapsed.

How to tell if Dried Fruit is bad, rotten or spoiled?

Practicing proper hygiene and food safety techniques will help prevent foodborne illness.

Your senses are usually the most reliable instruments to tell if your dried fruit has gone bad. Some common traits of dried fruit going bad are discoloration (usually to a darker tone), hardness (they can become extremely chewy as they age, but can still be eaten as some actually prefer them this way) and loss of flavor (a stale or flavorless taste). If there is a rotten smell, then your dried fruit has gone bad for sure. There is a far less chance of mold formation with dried fruit than fresh fruit because the moisture has been removed, but always beware of mold and toss your dried fruit if even the slightest mold is visible.

There are, of course, certain health risks associated with spoiled foods so always remember to practice food safety and enjoy your foods before their shelf life has expired!

How to store Dried Fruit to extend its shelf life?

You can help dried fruit stay fresh longer by storing it in your refrigerator or in your pantry in a tightly closed container to keep out moisture and other contaminants. Some fruits, like prunes which are moister than many of the others, enjoy the moisture of the fridge and taste better cold.

For a long-term option, you can also store your dried fruit in a freezer. Freezing is supposed to be an indefinite form of storage, but after varying amounts of time most foods start to break down or develop freezer burn. Properly dried fruit seems to be an exception - it really does freeze well for extended amounts of time if properly sealed with an air tight sealer.

Some benefits of proper food storage include eating healthier, cutting food costs and helping the environment by avoiding waste.

Interesting facts about Dried Fruit:

  • How to read the Best By date on Ocean Spray Cranberry products: Ocean Spray cranberry products are a popular choice in the U.S. for cranberries. The best by date on a dried cranberry package is on the back of the package near the bottom and reads like this: 13MAY12 where the 13=the 13th Day and the 12=the Year 2012. So, the best by date on Ocean Spray cranberries is DDMONTHYY.
  • Don't let that package of "Dried Plums" fool you - they are Prunes and will act as such! Which is not a bad thing, if you limit the quantity like the Sunsweet Ones which are packaged for portability (although it is excessive packaging, it does limit your intake and the specially designed wrapping keeps each prune perfect and extends its shelf life). Prunes get a bad wrap, but dried plums just sound more appealing. By either name, their fiber does more than just regulate. It also helps normalize blood sugar levels which help prevent and treat type 2 diabetes and can help you loose weight like this blogger mom did.
  • How long is Dried Fruit good for when prepared in a dish?

    How long does dried fruit last? That depends. How long does pasta last? In general, dried fruit will last much longer than about anything else you might put into the dish, but only as long as the quickest expiring ingredient in the dish.

    What are our shelf life resources?

    In determining how long Dried Fruit lasts, our content incorporates research from multiple resources, including the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Food & Drug Administration. In addition, we scoured the web for informative articles and reports related to food safety, food storage and the shelf life of Dried Fruit.

    *An important note about expiration dates...

    Although the Dried Fruit shelf life information on Eat By Date is generally reliable, please remember that individual cases will vary and that our advice should only be taken as an opinion and not a replacement for your health care professional. Please eat responsibly!